But there's a difference between government smoking bans and Howard Weyers setting one. We only have one government. When government bans something, it bans it for everybody, and government can use force. It's why the Bill of Rights restricts government power. But Weyco is just one company. No one has to work here.
Boyd agrees. "This is Howard's company. If you don't agree with it, that's fine. Don't work here," he said.
Those who don't want to work for this health nut, who built this company, have lots of other choices.
I looked through area classified ads, and saw lots of job listings.
But Weyers' employees seem to believe that after working hard for Weyers for years, they're entitled to their jobs.
Michigan State Sen. Virg Bernero (D) said he will "solve" the problem. He'll make what Weyers did illegal.
On Wednesday, he'll introduce a bill that would prohibit employers from firing anyone for legal behavior they do at home.
"Today, it's smoking, what's it going to be tomorrow? That you got to lose a certain number of pounds in order to keep your job?" he asked.
But there are lots of employers that might hire the smokers who lost their jobs at Weyco. Why can't one employer say, "I don't want smokers working here."
"We have decided as a society that you can't discriminate on race, on gender, you know, pregnant women," Bernero said.
But are we going to amend discrimination laws to include smokers?
Bernero is fine with that. "Hopefully, we'll have an amendment for legal activities, for privacy outside the workplace. Because this goes too far," he said.
But Weyers built the company, doesn't he have rights?
Epolito is now collecting unemployment. Cara Stiffler, another of the dismissed employees, is working as a file clerk.
She's happy with her new job.
So why is she angry at Weyers? "I had to give up my health insurance for my children, but I want my children to see that I stood up for my rights as an American, that's what the men are over fighting in Iraq for, is my freedom," she said.
Fighting for freedom is one thing. But freedom doesn't mean you own your job. Give me a break